Saturday, March 25, 2017
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  • Malden Democratic City Committee hosts 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Councillor hosts Ward 4 Community Meeting

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Greatest of All Time

    Friday, February 10, 2017 00:00
  • “We are lucky because …”

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Mystic Valley History students advance to State Finals

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00


West School honors Dr. Seuss’ birthday


Students at the West Memorial School are going places, if famed children’s author Dr. Seuss can be believed. On March 2 the school celebrated its annual National Read Across America Day (which also happens to be Dr. Seuss’s birthday) by partaking in a broad array of ceremonies that included dress-up, a magic show and visits from numerous guest speakers from around town.

Thanks to the deft coordination of teachers and the Parent Teacher Organization, kids enjoyed a day full of reading and entertainment. Librarian Dale Sampson from the West Branch Library came into one of the classrooms to talk about the importance of reading to the children. In addition, school Resource Officer Rick Cochran visited to read from some of Dr. Seuss’s books. To cap it all off, Magician Tommy James performed a 45-minute performance called the “Dr. Seuss Magic Reading Show,” which included magic music and sound effects.

“Tommy totally captivated the students,” said cultural event coordinator Nicole DiBenedetto-Ramsdell. “The show was full of surprises and it was a great learning experience for our children.”

Meanwhile, many enjoyed the activities while wearing the iconic red and white striped hats from the “Cat in the Hat,” and blue wigs with tops marked “Thing 1” and “Thing 2.” According to Kristen Bedard, president of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, the Dr. Seuss Day has been a longstanding tradition at the West School.

The beloved children’s author penned over 60 books in his illustrious career, including “The Cat in the Hat,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

By Melanie Higgins


Library director retires after 17 years


Martha Holden is putting her career on the shelf. After 17 years as Peabody’s library director, the longtime city employee is retiring. Her last day was March 3. Holden is succeeded by Acting Director and former Assistant Director Gerri Guyote.

Holden played a pivotal role in preserving the spirit of the Peabody libraries in addition to innovating services, according to those close to her. “She made our job very easy because she was so dependable,” said one of the library’s trustees, Jean Ahearn. “She was an advocate for the library and for progress. She brought the library forward by leaps and bounds.”

Ahearn said that Holden was particularly skilled at keeping up with trends in technology, which is evidenced in her helping to bring the “Creativity Lab” to the library. The Creativity Lab is a “community makerspace” that houses tools and provides programs to allow its visitors to achieve their creative dreams, whether in graphic design, woodworking or other areas of art and technology. The space, which is open often throughout the week, operates 3D printers and other devices, such as sound recorders and computer-programming software.

During her career Holden also helped guide the renovation of the Main Branch, and pioneered many education programs for both children and adults.

“Martha took the Peabody Institute Library to extraordinary heights.” said a post on the City of Peabody’s Facebook page. “We wish Martha great happiness in retirement and thank her for her commitment to improving the lives of so many Peabody residents.”

The trustees are in the process of looking for a more permanent director. The board will be collecting applications until April 7.

By Melanie Higgins


New doggie day care coming to Peabody


Peabody is going to the dogs. Last Thursday, March 9, the City Council approved a special permit, 10-0, to allow another dog kennel to operate within Peabody. The Council awarded the permit to Kerri Amor, a North Shore resident and current owner of Dog’n It, a kennel that currently operates in Middleton. According to the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, Amor’s business will be the fourth of its kind to operate within Peabody’s borders.

Amor still has some obstacles to overcome before her business can open, which include obtaining a clearance from the Department of Human Services; however, she expects the process to go swimmingly, citing her previous experience in Middleton. After renovations she hopes to have the business open by the beginning of April at the new location at 58 Walnut St.

Ward 3 Councillor James Moutsoulas initially expressed some concern that the dogs would create a mess in the neighboring park if let out to do their business; however, Amor reassured the councillor that the dogs would be limited to the open space provided on the premises.

Amor said that there is a “strict” process for bringing in new dogs. Dogs would have to be evaluated before being housed, must be neutered or spayed, and have all up-to-date immunizations. To ensure safety of the animals, there will be no more than seven dogs per employee on-site, for a total of just under 30 dogs. The kennel will provide overnight boarding, but will be significantly limited to just a few dogs.

Amor thanked the councillors and expressed her enthusiasm in relocating to Peabody, where she expects to have more business. She also said that she was glad to be returning to the Peabody area, having grown up in neighboring Danvers.

Amor said in a phone conversation that she has six years of experience in running a dog kennel through her Middleton business, but has a lifetime of experience working with dogs. She has been a trainer for 30 years, and has also spent much of her life breeding Miniature Schnauzers. “I’m very passionate about dogs,” Amor said. “I have an awesome job.”

She said that unlike some other kennels that house 100 or more dogs in dubious locations, such as malls and office parks, her business is all about small numbers in a tightly controlled environment to maximize their experience. “It’s all about keeping the dogs stress-free,” she said.

Her new facility, much like the old one, will have a large outdoor area, day care, overnights, grooming, training and concierge services. All employees are certified and two are trainers themselves. Also, every dog leaves with what Amor calls a “bye-bye bath.”

March 29 will be the last day of the Middleton operation and with it, the name “Dog’n It.” With its new location, the day care service will take on the new name, “Mutt Hut.”

By Melanie Higgins


Peabody Police Department offers Citizens Academy beginning March 22

The Peabody Police Department will be hosting its 4th Citizens Academy starting on Wednesday, March 22. The class will be scheduled from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and will run through May 31, 2017. The application deadline for this class will be March 14, 2017.

Several topics will be covered in the academy, including, but not limited to, terrorism, the legal process, motor vehicle law, patrol procedures, domestic violence and investigations. The program also includes a firearms class where students will have the opportunity to shoot various weapons at our indoor firing range, to participate in motor vehicle stop scenarios and to take a tour of the Middleton House of Corrections.

“The Citizens Academy allows residents to become much more familiar with the inner workings of the Peabody Police Department,” said Police Chief Tom Griffin. “Participants gain an entirely different perspective into the community in which they live when they learn to see things through the eyes of a police officer.”

The instructors for the academy include members of the Peabody Police Department, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Peabody Healthy Collaborative. All instructors are well versed in their subject matter and they strongly encourage class participation.

“We hope and expect that participants will graduate from the Citizens Academy with a newfound appreciation for what we as police officers do,” said Captain Scott Richards, who is spearheading the Academy. “Participants will finish with a good deal of first-hand knowledge of how the Department operates. It will be a real eye-opener.”

You can apply for the Citizens Academy by picking up an application at the police station or by downloading the application from the Peabody Police Department website,


Chillin’ on Main St. at Pop-Up Ice Bar






Despite frosty temperatures between 50-75 people came out to Peabody Square last Saturday evening for Peabody Main Street’s Pop-Up Ice Bar event. The event featured its signature ‘Ice Bar’, an Ipswich Ale truck with taps built into the side operated by Mayor Bettencourt, and hot dogs provided by Bacao Food Truck. Tim Brown and Amanda Summit from the new coffee shop Breaking Grounds were also present promoting the store and selling hand warmers and mittens. DJ Rick DeSanctis provided live entertainment as patrons danced the night away.

The event was sponsored by Peabody Main Streets, an offshoot of the Chamber of Commerce. It has previously utilized the space outside the Peabody Courthouse to host similar events. Police cordoned off the area so that patrons could safely socialize and enjoy downtown Peabody and all that it has to offer.

The event was part of a larger strategy to promote downtown and utilize its public spaces better. Peabody Main Streets’ vision is “to cultivate a downtown that is a desirable place to live, an enjoyable place to visit and a supportive place to build a profitable business” according to its website.


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